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Sports Storm petrels: Satellite tags reveal secrets of UK’s smallest seabird

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Image copyright Mark Bolton/RSPB Image caption Storm petrels on the island of Mousa were fitted with light-weight GPS tags The UK's smallest seabird regularly travels up to 186miles (300km) to feed in stormy waters off Shetland, according to new satellite tag data. Adult storm petrels on Mousa, Shetland, were fitted with GPS devices to better…
Sports Storm petrels: Satellite tags reveal secrets of UK’s smallest seabird

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sports Storm petrelChecklist copyright
Imprint Bolton/RSPB

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Storm petrels on the island of Mousa have confidence been fitted with gentle-weight GPS tags

The UK’s smallest seabird regularly travels up to 186miles (300km) to feed in stormy waters off Shetland, basically basically based on new satellite mark recordsdata.

Grownup storm petrels on Mousa, Shetland, have confidence been fitted with GPS devices to greater perceive the build they foraged for plankton and diminutive fish at night.

The guidelines printed they have confidence been flying to a previously unknown feeding build 68 miles (110km) south of their colony.

One bird even ended up virtually 248 miles (400km) in Norway.

It took factual 24 hours to hover support to Mousa. Researchers suspect the bird had been blown off course in depraved weather.

Storm petrels migrate from the coasts of South Africa and Namibia to breed in Europe.

They nest in burrows, among rocks or holes in stone walls.

Petrels on Mousa are identified to nest in the walls of a fortified Iron Age residence known as a broch.

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Imprint Bolton/RSPB

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The birds will lope for miles to seek out meals

Adults birds weigh about 30 grams – factual over one ounce. The tags similar old in the compare venture, which fervent RSPB Scotland, weighed less an a gram.

Fieldwork was utilized on the island of Mousa between mid July and gradual August yearly between 2014 and 2017. The colony is residence to virtually 11,000 pairs of storm petrels.

Forty-two birds have confidence been tracked and quite a lot of their foraging trips lasted between one and three days and usually ranged up to 186 miles (300km) from the colony.

The compare, printed in journal Fowl Conservation Global, suggested the birds have confidence been feeding in previously unknown areas including a region south of the colony and also shut to shore.

Researchers had anticipated the birds to spend waters to the west of Shetland, the build high concentrations of storm petrels had been reported in old a protracted time from boat surveys.

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Imprint Bolton/RSPB

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Storm petrels are the UK’s smallest seabird

Imprint Bolton, the compare paper’s author, stated: “This was ambitious compare and provides the most comprehensive perception into how these little birds spend our spacious marine surroundings to feed and elevate their younger.

“The new insights about their behaviour display hide the worth of most important science as smartly as offering an fabulous window into the travels of our smallest seabird.”

Head of marine coverage at RSPB Scotland, Alex Kinninmonth, stated the compare had identified “lost sight of” areas the build the birds will probably be came across.

He added: “Scotland’s seabirds are already in disaster and face an risky future, so expanding our recordsdata of the build they stagger at sea and why is key to present them a battling likelihood against ever increasing human-made pressures.”

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